What is brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty is a quest that is pursued by all sellers of products. A quest for brand loyalty is filled with many pitfalls and red herrings. It is an arduous quest that is only matched once the pursuer of said goal is willing to forgo all conventional thinking and practices.
Wikipedia defines brand loyalty as -
Brand loyalty, in marketing, consists of a consumer’s commitment to repurchase or otherwise continue using the brand and can be demonstrated by repeated buying of a product or service or other positive behaviors such as word of mouth advocacy
Those of us that have pursued such goals know this is the outcome of brand loyalty; however, it does not describe the process in which one such goal is achieved...
Brand loyalty is an emotional response to certain environmental, circumstantial, and experiential factors.
Let us look at a couple of examples of this.
Heinz ketchup: Everybody knows what a bottle of Heinz ketchup looks like. Why, when is the last time you saw a commercial for Heinz? Do they blast all available media outlets with commercials about their products? No. They have been around so long that everybody knows who they are. In addition, people buy Heinz because that is what their parents bought, and their parents, parents bought Heinz. Another factor to consider is that there are really only two brands of ketchup available in the U.S. Heinz and Hunts. Therefore, this type of brand loyalty is twofold: circumstantial, and experiential. Circumstantial because there are only two brands of ketchup, Experiential because most likely the buyer’s parents bought Heinz if they are buying Heinz.
Let us look at another one.
Macintosh: This one is very interesting because Mac buyers buy because they are compelled to. A number of factors affect this emotional response, perceived reliability, perceived superiority, and going against the flow. Mac buyers will argue with anybody that tries to dis-credit Macintosh. It is almost like a religion, a Mac religion, and the only prerequisite you need is the idea that a Mac is far superior to any PC. This type of brand loyalty falls under experiential. This is experiential because of the good experiences the buyer has had with a Mac whether these experiences are perceived or not.
Now the question becomes how these brands achieved this brand loyalty. It really is simple: Brand recognition. I was not alive when Heinz first started making ketchup; however, I am sure there were many marketing campaigns to get their prospective buyers just to try their product. In addition, they did something extremely important; they never changed their label on the bottle. Have you seen how many different bottles of Heinz ketchup there are? Even though there are so many different bottles of ketchup, the label always looks the same. They built a brand by being consistent with their labeling.
Mac has had a rocky life if Heinz was the steady grower then Mac is its antithesis. None other than Microsoft at one point even bailed out Mac. Only in the last decade or so have they started to come into their own. Why, because instead of going head to head with Microsoft (which would be a losing battle) they went in a completely different direction they started to make their own way in the electronics world we live in. More importantly is that their labeling has been in a constant state of flux. Now you see why I said they were the antithesis of Heinz. However if you look closer at their brand you will see something that has not changed. The apple shape of their logo Yes it has been different colors, different shapes, and in different locations, but it has been the apple at all times. Therefore, they too have stuck to their brand.
I think we are starting to see a pattern here. If you build your brand with the same look and provide examples to your customers why they should choose you with an emotional response then you too will build brand loyalty for your company.
In what ways would you keep your logo consistent while changing your direction to attract new generations of potential buyers?
What is brand loyalty?